A&L Desk Recs: Our favorite Thanksgiving sides

Graphic illustration by Grace Everett | Photo Editor

Erianne Lewis | Arts and Life Editor

With Thanksgiving just a week away, it only feels right that we talk about everyone’s favorite part of the day: the food. The A&L desk would like to share our favorite Thanksgiving sides and possibly inspire you to include them in your celebration.

Erianne Lewis | Arts and Life Editor

As a Thanksgiving lover, choosing a favorite side is like when people ask parents to choose a favorite child. I can’t possibly pick, because I love them all. However, as do most parents, I guess I have a few favorites, regardless if I want to admit it or not.

Dirty Rice

This may be unfamiliar to some people, because I believe it originated in Southern Louisiana, but it’s a staple on my family’s Thanksgiving table. I look forward to this mix of white rice, meat and spices every holiday season. It fills me with joy just thinking about it.

Candied Yams

I wasn’t always a fan of this side, but over time yams have warmed their way into my heart. Thanksgiving doesn’t feel right without this combination of sweet potatoes, cinnamon, sugar, butter, brown sugar and marshmallows to top it off. The sweeter the better.

Avery Ballmann | Arts and Life Staff Writer

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday solely because of the food. I have two sides that I can eat consistently for leftovers and never get tired of them.

Mashed Potatoes

This sounds like a basic answer but these taters go with everything: rolls, turkey, corn, you name it. My grandma also makes the best mashed potatoes because she adds ingredients to make them taste like a loaded baked potato.


My second favorite side is the stuffing, or is it called dressing? It doesn’t really matter what term you use because the side speaks for itself. My mom makes the best stuffing — all homemade. This side is special because I usually only have it once a year, so it always has a special spot on my plate.

Emma Weidmann | Arts and Life Staff Writer

Dinner rolls

While this may sound basic, dinner rolls are an integral part of the Thanksgiving meal. In particular, I love the ones that come frozen in a metal tin. When they come out of the oven, they complete Thanksgiving dinner and pull everything together in a way that no other side can compete with. Sorry, stuffing. Step aside.

Pumpkin pie

I am aware that this is not a side. However, it’s the absolute best part of the entire Thanksgiving meal and cannot be overlooked. I would be remiss to write anything about Thanksgiving and not mention God’s gift to humanity: pumpkin pie.

Apple pie doesn’t compare. Pecan pie is dead to me. Pumpkin pie is not only delicious, but is more reminiscent of the season than even the turkey. You can eat pumpkin pie exactly once a year, and that is what I look forward to for months on end.

Ruhi Thapar | Arts and Life Intern

Glazed carrots

This one is kind of niche, but glazed carrots are my absolute favorite Thanksgiving side. My family uses the pioneer woman recipe, and they always turn out amazing.

Mashed potatoes

This one is a classic. You can never go wrong with mashed potatoes, and they almost always make up half of my plate on Thanksgiving.

Clay Thompson | Arts and Life Intern

Macaroni and Cheese

To counterbalance all of the carbs, meat and fat, some grains and dairy in Mac and Cheese make it a great Thanksgiving side. Plus with some bread crumbs and chives, it can become a fabulous meal in it owns right.

Mashed Potatoes

The best of the bland sides. Mashed potatoes are a blank slate you can make your own — gravy, butter, spices. Mashed potatoes are the ultimate make-it-your own side that often taste delicious any way you make them.